Saturday, August 15, 2009

Crown's Macau joint venture raises $237m - 14th August 2009

Casinos operator Crown said that its joint-venture business in Macau, Melco Crown Entertainment, had successfully conducted a $US200 million ($237 million) equity placement.

The size of the placement will increase to $US220 million if an over-allotment option is exercised.

Crown said that following the Melco Crown placement, Crown's ownership interest in Melco Crown would be diluted from 36.4 per cent to 33.5 per cent, assuming full exercise of the over-allotment option.

Melco Crown is jointly owned by Hong Kong-listed Melco International Development Ltd and Crown.

Melco International is substantially owned and led by Lawrence Ho.

Melco Crown operates the Altira Macau (formerly Crown Macau) and the City of Dreams casino resort. The company's operations also includes the Mocha Clubs, which have about 1,500 gaming machines across eight locations.

Mr Ho said in a statement that year-on-year growth in gaming revenues for the whole of the Macau market had re-emerged in July 2009, following soon after the successful opening of City of Dreams at the start of June.

"We are confident that a period of growth at sustainable levels is ahead of us, and we continue to remain absolutely focused on the opportunities that this will present to our company,'' Mr Ho said.

"The placement funds raised will better position us to be able to pursue future development opportunities while at the same time maintaining our rigorous approach to balance sheet prudence.''

Crown shares were down 19 cents at $7.33 at 3.31pm (AEST).